HK woman who hacked elderly father in head with meat cleaver gets 12 months in jail

24-Jun-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

A woman who hacked her 83-year-old father in the head with a cleaver because she thought he stole her laundry soap was on Friday jailed for 12 months by a Hong Kong court.

Tong Fung-ling, 37, admitted to using a 14-inch butcher’s cleaver to attack her father, Tong Pui-lam, in their Shau Kei Wan flat on April 7, 2018, after he denied stealing her soap.

The District Court heard that Tong senior had tried using his walking frame to ward off the blows, but to no avail.

The case was reported to police after a passer-by saw the father covered in blood as he ran to the downstairs lobby of their building.

A medical examination at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan determined that the father suffered lacerations on his scalp, forehead and both hands.

He was referred to a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist for a digital nerve repair programme.

Woman ‘attacked 83-year-old father with chopping knife’ after family dispute

His daughter admitted upon arrest that she attacked him because, in her words, he stole her money and laundry soap.

She explained in interviews that she had reminded her father not to use her soap he ignored her. She said she hacked him on the head with the cleaver at least one to three times.

The court heard that the father did not sustain any skull fractures or cerebral bleeding. He recovered from his head injury in about a month, the court heard.

The daughter pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm. She had no prior convictions.

Her mother, Szeto Chung, 80, sobbed in the public gallery as defence counsel Karen Cheung appealed for a non-custodial sentences such as probation or community service. She pointed out that the father had forgiven her before he died two months ago.

Cheung also said her client regretted her actions and drew the court’s attention to her long history of mental illness. Tong was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder in 1997 after she attempted suicide.

“This is a family tragedy,” the lawyer said.

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But the deputy district judge, Cheng Lim-chi, said there was no evidence the defendant was influenced by her psychiatric condition because she stopped attending therapy sessions in 2010.

Cheng also noted that an assessment conducted after the attack had found Tong to be “functioning well”.

“She did not report any persistent bad mood or any other symptoms suggesting a relapse of adjustment disorder or any other psychiatric illness,” he quoted from the psychiatric report.

The judge said Tong had committed a serious offence, which usually receives a jail term of three to 12 years.

But he accepted that it was her first offence and that it was the spontaneous result of her poor self-control, rather than an act of premeditation or planning.

He started with a sentence of 27 months, but reduced it by nine months for the fact that her father had forgiven her. He deducted another six months one-third of the remaining sentence because she pleaded guilty.

“The court understands that immediate imprisonment would be a heavy blow to the defendant and her elderly mother,” Cheng said.

“But the defendant has to be responsible for her actions. The case is serious. Immediate imprisonment is the only sentencing option.”


Category: Hong Kong

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